Easter Weekend Affords Glorious Opportunity to See LES MISERABLES

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on April 18, 2014

“God on high, hear my prayer. In my need you have always been there.”
[lyrics from Les Misérables]

There is an innate goodness in actors of the Les Mis caliber.  It is a rare quality in all walks of life, but especially so when egos are in check and everyone is working together to support, enrich and enliven Victor Hugo’s massive and beautifully uplifting homage to the human spirit.

These young people are filled with human kindness.  They are eager to learn, bubbling with enthusiasm, energy, talent and youth — above all, youth.  As Oscar Wilde said in The Picture of Dorian Gray, “Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!”

They cue this old man with a touch on the arm, a squeeze of the hand, a nod of the head, a glance or simply a look, which helps me to not muck up all those other well-schooled and so well-trained voices.  Never before have such beautiful sounds emanated from the Roxy stage, in spite of the theatre’s poor acoustics.  Every word, note, sound and song is as clear as a bell.

There must be a word for it; but it’s not jealousy, nor envy, for those words mean “to take away or diminish” or rather “wish they didn’t have.”  But the direct opposite is true.  I, too, had that special chance, once as a preteen, to work with professionals at the Front Street Theatre in Memphis — as do Gavin Berlyak, Bella Cargill, Adianna Cervantes, Bre Cox, Julio Iguina-Pascual, Riley Jenkins, Truman Jepson, Angela Knowles, Ashley Knowles, Lauren Mund, Kylan Ritchie, Tamara Streng, Mindy Wedner and Lucy Wilkinson — and it is fixed like granite in my memory.  I know we learn much by observing the behavior of others, as I learned so much from observing George Hearn, Dixie Carter and Jonathan Frid.

We wanted to keep our commitment in presenting four productions honoring the Sesquicentennial years: first, The Civil War, a retelling in song of the struggles both sides faced during those turbulent years; second, a revival of Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage; and for our third, a new adaptation of Ambrose Bierce’s Civil War Stories.  I had planned to write Mrs. Lincoln for longtime friend Judi Sinks; but after seeing Sally Fields in the film Lincoln, I knew I was out of my league.  So A Woman Called Truth seemed to fit the bill and complete our four-year cycle.

During spring break, people leave town.  Others come into town, and not always stay in hotels, but rather reside with family and friends.  What a great opportunity Easter weekend affords!  In addition to tonight’s 8pm performance, Les Misérables has a 2pm matinee and an 8pm performance this Saturday.  What a grand theatrical event it is, and a glorious opportunity to show off to visiting family and friends Clarksville’s cultural side at its best.  Performances continue on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm through May 10.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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